Jackson and his dad head off to the land of the giants, not knowing if the giants will help them… or eat them. But Jackson is sure that by using his head, he will be able to get the help they need.
Author’s note: I hope you enjoy this conclusion of the Jackson story. I had a lot of fun, especially trying to come up with the jokes, which were the hardest part of this story. Please let me know if they elicit real chuckles!
“That’s a long way to swim,” said his dad, “I guess we’ll have to fly,” and he stood on the top of a sand dune and flapped his arms up and down like a bird.
“Let’s just see if we can find someone who will let us borrow their boat,” suggested Jackson.
A little way down the beach was a long pier. Jackson went and talked to a fisherman. After some discussion, the fisherman agreed to let them borrow his boat in exchange for Jackson’s extra warm socks.
They crossed the sea and came to the island where all the people were giants.
When they got off the boat, Jackson tied it to a tree while his dad did a few somersaults to loosen up.
They went and found the main village of giants. In the middle of the town square a group of giants were standing in a loose circle, watching while two of them arm wrestled. When the winner slammed down the hand of his opponent, the ground shook.
Standing just behind them, Jackson tried to get their attention. But he was too short, and the giants ignored him.
His father took a pair of cymbals out of his bag and banged them very loudly. When the giants looked down to see where the noise was coming from, he boosted Jackson onto his shoulders.
“My name is Jackson and this is my dad,” started Jackson.
“You both look mighty tasty,” said one of the giants.
Undaunted, Jackson said, “We came here to ask for your help. Our castle fell over in an earthquake, and we’re looking for the biggest, strongest giant to ask him to come and help us fix it.”
The giant people pointed to a hill in the distance where a very large cave had its opening.
“That would be Og, up in that cave. Go ask him for help,” they told Jackson.
While his dad stayed in the village and distracted the giants with his juggling act, Jackson hiked up to the mouth of the cave.
The giant was sitting on a huge boulder like it was a little chair. Even sitting down, he was taller than Jackson’s castle. The giant had one eye in the middle of his forehead and was whistling while he whittled the trunk of a tree with a knife as big as a sword.
“I heard that you are the strongest of all the giants,” said Jackson.
“Of course,” said the giant without looking up. “I’m stronger than all of them put together.”
“I’ve heard that one giant is as strong as 100 men.”
“I’m as strong as 1,000 men.”
“I live in a castle that took 100 men ten years to build. I bet you could fix it all by yourself in just one day.”
The giant shrugged. “I probably could. What’s in it for me?”
“Well, you get to feel good because you help a whole bunch of people,” said Jackson.
“No, sorry that’s not really good enough for me,” said the giant. Then after a moment, “To make it fair, we would need to trade something. But you’re really puny. I don’t see how you can do anything that would be of any help to me.”
Jackson said, “I may not be as big as you, but I’m practical, and that’s as good as strength and size. What do you need done? I bet I can figure out how to do it for you.”
The giant finally looked at Jackson straight on. He said, “Well, there is one thing I could use some help with. There’s a tree growing on top of my hill, and its roots grow down into the roof of my cave and poke me in the eye when I walk in and out. If you can rip out that tree and get all the roots out, I will come and fix your castle.”
Jackson said, “That’s easy, I can take care of that.”
Then the giant said, “But that’s not all. You have a lot of nerve coming here and expecting giants to do your hard work for you. I don’t want you to go off and tell everybody we’re at their beck and call. So I think there should be a consequence for you as well. If you can’t get it done in one day and one night, I get to use your head as a basketball.”
“But I can’t take my head off,” said Jackson
“That’s okay,” said the giant, with a monstrous grin, “I’ll take it off for you.”
Jackson gulped and thought hard. Then he said, “Okay, it’s a deal.”
Jackson took his hatchet out of his backpack and got right to work on chopping down the tree. He hacked and hacked and after an hour he had barely managed to chip into the bark on the outside. He stopped and sharpened the axe. Then he went back to it. All afternoon he worked very hard to chop the tree down.
By the time the sun was setting, Jackson saw that he had only made a small bald spot on one side of the tree trunk. He decided to take a break. He walked down the hill to a river to get a drink of water and think of a different way to get the tree down.
While he was sitting with his feet in the cool, muddy water, he saw something that looked about the size of a really big dog nosing along the river bank. It was a giant beaver. This gave him an idea.
Jackson called to the beaver, who paused and looked at him. He came over to Jackson. The beaver was so big that when it sat leaning on its tail, he was the same height as Jackson. Jackson offered him a handshake and introduced himself.
Jackson explained his problem to the beaver. He finished by saying, “Do you think you could get some of your friends to come and help me? I know beavers are pretty good at chopping down trees. I could trade something.”
But the beaver was not interested in anything Jackson had to trade. He looked shook his head at the tent, the last of Jackson’s food, and even the multitool.
Finally, in frustration, Jackson said the first thing that popped into his head which was one of the beaver jokes his father had made him memorize.
“You know why people think beavers are really stingy?” said Jackson. “Because they don’t give a dam.”
The beaver cocked its head at him. Then it started laughing and slapping its tail on the ground.
Other beavers swam over to them.
Jackson decided to try another one.
“How many beavers does it take to dam a river?” added Jackson. “Tree.”
The beavers were all making chuckling sounds.
“Why did the beaver build a dam?” asked Jackson, using the last beaver joke he had learned from his father. “To keep the water on the other side.”
The beavers all laughed so hard they got tears in their eyes and some of them fell down and rolled around on the ground.
When their laughter started to calm down to just a few chuckles, Jackson said, “I really need your help. There’s this giant, and if I don’t chop down the tree that’s on top of his hill and get rid of all the roots that grow down through the roof of his cave, he’s going to chop my head off and use it for a basketball.”
The beavers all looked at each other and then chittered in a very friendly way. Jackson figured this meant they would help him. He led them up the hill to the tree he had been trying to chop down with his axe.
The beavers went right to work, and by the time the sun was starting to come up, the tree was down and all the roots were cleared out of the cave.
Jackson said, “Thank you so much for your help. I can trade you my tent or my hatchet in exchange, would you like either of those?”
But the beavers shook their heads no. The first giant beaver that Jackson had met chittered something at him and then laughed a few chuckles.
“Are you saying the jokes were enough?” Jackson asked.
The beaver nodded, and then he shook Jackson’s hand while the other beavers all waved good bye and headed back down the hill to the river.
After the giant woke up and had his breakfast, he came to see how Jackson was doing. He was surprised to see Jackson sitting on the tree trunk eating an apple.
The giant said, “Well, this is a fair trade. But there’s one problem – I can’t swim. And I think I remember that you got here on a very small boat. There’s no way I will fit in it and cross the ocean with you.”
Jackson nodded thoughtfully, and then he pointed at the tree trunk that the beavers had cut down and said, “How about we make you a canoe?”
Together, Jackson and the giant whittled the tree trunk until there was a hollow space big enough for the giant to sit in. Then the giant carried it down to the river to test it out while Jackson went to find his father and let him know they were ready to leave.
Down by the beach, Jackson and his dad climbed into their boat, and the giant climbed into his canoe. They all sailed back over the sea.
After returning the boat to the fisherman, Jackson and his dad stepped onto the giant’s hand and he lifted them up onto his shoulders. The giant was so big that he walked through the whole forest in just a few minutes.
The people of the castle ran around screaming in terror when they saw them coming.
“A giant! A giant! Run for your lives!” they screamed.
“Wait! Come back!” called Jackson. Then he turned to his father and asked, “Dad, can you get them to stop and listen?”
Jackson’s dad got the rubber chicken out of his bag and swung it around his head, shouting, “Hear ye! Hear ye!”
Everyone stopped to listen to Jackson’s dad.
“My son has done what no one thought possible. Instead of being frightened, he kept his head and used his wits to convince the very strongest of all the giants to come and help him,” said Jackson’s dad. “He even managed to tell some pretty good jokes as well. I’m incredibly proud of him.”
The giant bent down and righted the castle with ease. He even straightened up one of the crooked towers.
Everyone cheered. “Hooray for Jackson and his giant!”
From that day on, no one was afraid of the giants. Every year, Jackson’s whole family went back to the island and put on a show for the giants, with Jackson doing a special segment just for the beavers.